The government is making $21.5m available over the next 4 years for special needs children in early childhood. These are children who have an intellectual or physical disability. Special needs children include those who are deaf or blind, who are in a wheelchair, who have autism or Down Syndrome, who have behavioural problems or have delayed speech development. The Prime Minister said that every child deserves the support they need so that they can succeed in education. This support is needed before the age of 5 to give them a good start to education.
There will be scholarships for people to train in speech therapy and other special needs teaching. Special needs funding may be used for specialists like educational psychologists or sign language interpreters. It can be used for more resources like audio resources for blind children, or visual resources for deaf children. It can be used for Teacher Aides to support a child with special needs in an early childhood class. Usually children with special needs are happier in a mainstream class along with other children who can learn to interact with them and care for them.
• autism – children with autism have problems with social interaction and speech communication
• Down Syndrome – it’s a genetic disorder; these children have delayed physical and intellectual growth
• funding – money
• Teacher Aide – a support teacher who usually has some training; assists the main teacher
• mainstream class – usual class with children who don’t have special needs
• interact – talk and play together
• care for them – 1. take care of them, look after them; 2. like them and care what happens to them